Spam Abuse

Inboxes being filled with get-rich-quick offers, chain letters, financial scams and offensive material are referred to as spam. Spamming is defined as an unsolicited mass email which is a problem for almost anyone with an email account.

AT NO TIME will the University ask you to reveal your userid and password by email.

For a list of recent scams and phishing attempts pleave visit: http://www.uoguelph.ca/cio/content/recent-scams-and-phishing-attempts.

Why you Get Spam

There are a number of reasons why you might be getting spam, even if you have just received your account. 

Email Collection

Any time you have provided your email address on a website (i.e. message boards, chat rooms, newsgroups, registration forms, etc.) there's a good chance it was sold and distributed to spammers. 

Spammers Guessing

Even if you have never signed up for anything online, you may still receive spam. Accounts such as jsmith, or tjones for example are very common. Spammers sometimes guess at the addresses by trying every possible combination of letters and numbers.

U of G's Responsibility

The University of Guelph takes spam very seriously and it's our priority to minimize the impact spam has on our users. At this point in time, there is no reliable method to block all spam but we do employ methods to reduce the amount of spam received. For example, we have subscriptions lists of known spammers and use this list to block spam before it is ever delivered to a user's inbox. As a result, thousand of spam messages are blocked before they reach the mail system. 

Your Responsibility

Even though U of G takes a number of steps to combat spam, you may still receive some spam. However, there are steps you can take to deal with spam: 

Keep Email Private

Be cautious when giving out your email address and know what their privacy policy is. Look for boxes you can check that say "please don't send me email news/updates/information" and for boxes that are already checked and uncheck them! In some instance is it might be beneficial to give a fake email address out if you want to sign up for service that does not respect email privacy.

Participating in newsgroups, bulletin boards and chat rooms where your email address accompanies the messages you send will increase your chances of being spammed, so it's best to avoid using your email in these situations. 

Delete Spam

Unfortunately, it is almost certain that even if you take these steps you will still receive spam. The simplest thing to do is to delete it by dragging the messages to your junk folder. Responding to spam messages, even if they provide an unsubscribe link, almost never results in less spam. In fact, such links confirms for the spammer that they have a working account on their list, which could lead to you receiving even more spam.